Monday, November 24, 2008

International Stem Cell Corporation Partners with Absorption Systems to Commercialize Human Stem Cell-Derived Corneal Tissue for Drug Testing

International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCBB:ISCO (, the first company to perfect a method of creating human "parthenogenetic" stem cells from unfertilized eggs, has formed a partnership with Absorption Systems to utilize ISCO's parthenogenetic stem cell-derived human corneal tissue to measure drug disposition, drug safety and drug-drug interactions. The collaboration between the companies is focused on using Absorption Systems' know how in creating in vitro assay systems to develop a superior method of testing drugs that will also reduce the use of laboratory animals currently necessary for such tests.

In the past, researchers have grown corneal cells in the laboratory, but ISCO is believed to be the only company to grow a self-assembling corneal construct suitable for toxicity testing in the laboratory and possibly suitable for corneal transplants. ISCO's corneal constructs include cell layers and structures normally found in a human cornea, as confirmed by an independent third-party laboratory. ISCO's proprietary lines of parthenogenetic stem cells remove the need for fertilized embryos and in a therapeutic setting, minimize the threat of immune rejection. This breakthrough was published in the peer-reviewed journal Cloning & Stem Cells (Volume 9, Number 3; September 2007:432-449 and, Volume 10, Number 1; March 2008:11-24).

"The combination of ISCO's skill in culturing human parthenogenetic stem cells and Absorption Systems' proficiency in performing tissue-based assays may provide a powerful and unique drug testing model for the pharmaceutical industry and the field of ophthalmology," commented Jeffrey Janus, president of ISCO. "In addition, this work complements ISCO's effort to use its parthenogenetic stem cells to create cell transplant therapies for diseases of the eye. We plan to further develop our corneal tissue technology with a goal of routinely growing living human corneas for ultimate use in human corneal transplants."

"ISCO's corneal construct, combined with Absorption Systems' expertise in assessing drug disposition, may provide pharmaceutical and ophthalmology researchers with new insight, without the need for animal models," said Patrick M. Dentinger, president and CEO of Absorption Systems. "Absorption Systems' services yield the type of definitive data expected by the FDA, so we believe that our combined products will be of great interest to researchers studying diseases of the eye."


International Stem Cell Corporation is a California biotechnology company focused on developing therapeutic and research products. ISCO's technology, Parthenogenesis, results in the creation of pluripotent human stem cell lines from unfertilized human eggs. ISCO scientists have created the first Parthenogenetic homozygous stem cell line (phSC-Hhom-4) that can be a source of therapeutic cells that will minimize immune rejection after transplantation into hundreds of millions of individuals of differing sexes, ages and racial groups. These advancements offer the potential to create the first true "Stem Cell Bank" and address ethical issues by eliminating the need to use or destroy fertilized embryos. ISCO also produces and markets specialized cells and growth media worldwide for therapeutic research through its subsidiary Lifeline Cell Technology. For more information, visit the ISCO website at:

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Founded in 1996 by Patrick Dentinger and Ismael J. Hidalgo, Ph.D., Absorption Systems, LP focuses on performing assays that can predict the Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, and Excretion (ADME) of small molecules using a variety of in vitro, in situ, and in vivo biological models. Absorption Systems supports these assays with state-of–the-art bioanalytical capabilities and preclinical formulation services. For more information, visit:


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